Renowned Pacific Athletics Statistician visits USP

CAPTION: Coordinator Patricia Frantangelo with Athletics Statistician Bob Snow. Photo: USP.

With the Fiji Coca-Cola games beginning in two weeks, recording national and regional statistics for Pacific Island countries is of increasing importance.

The University of the South Pacific library- the largest in the region, has the Oceania Sport Information Centre (OSIC), which is a repository for information on Oceanic sports, that keeps records of athletics statistics in the Pacific region.

A former high school principal and athletics statistician, Bob Snow, said the most prevalent users of these statistics are physical education students conducting individual research, athletic coaches, and officials often seeking information relevant to the Pacific that is not easily available elsewhere, and this is one way the Library has been effective in disseminating information.

The OSIC has kept record of Snow’s work, and that of his colleagues who have contributed to the OSIC by regularly updating statistics since the early 1970s.

Snow said not enough use is being made of the USP Library and its value should be realized sooner rather than later.

“Not many people realize the value of what the Library keeps, and the important information collected over the years,” he said.

Snow although retired, is a member of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS) and is an avid collector of information on athletics.  He has edited numerous Pacific and Athletic Statistics booklets, over the years, and has even co-written a handbook for Team Managers and Coaches in PNG.

He began compiling athletics statistics by looking at local papers, and comparing the results of Zone Meets, and the Juicy Games, now known as the Coca-Cola Games, while he was teaching in Taveuni.

He said by studying the performance details, they were able to gauge student competitiveness, which could lead to stronger performances.

Snow is currently working on a long term project to compile and organize all of the South Pacific, (now Pacific) and Mini Games athletics statistics, in a form which can be easily communicated to a wider audience.

The OSIC at the University Library was delighted to have the statistician visit. OSIC Coordinator, Patricia Frantangelo, said statistics in sports needs to be developed and the contributions of Snow and his colleagues in athletics statistics has paved the way forward.

“We frequently have people asking about statistics on athletics, and having that information available allows us at the Library to assist them in what they are seeking,” Frantangelo added.


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